Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thursday Nights With the FNRC

Back in 2012, my Thursday nights revolved around one thing: the Thursday night run with the FNRC. It is amazing what a difference a few years/months makes. Now with Patsy at home, and with my work and breastfeeding schedule, I haven't been able to make it to a Thursday night run in awhile. They are currently doing some construction around the office so we are working from home Thursday and Friday. Working from home = no commute = I can make it to a Thursday night group run! I was really excited to meet up with some of my pals that I haven't seen in awhile. Something I didn't anticipate, was that the Illinois Marathon was this past weekend. Lots of the Thursday night runners participated in this year's event so they were tapering on their own schedule and weren't there on Thursday. On the plus side, I met some new faces and was able to run with my friend Amanda who I started the group with a few years ago!

FNRC Thursday Group

I warmed up quick on the run and lost the long sleeve and short sleeve I was wearing. Gotta get used to these spring temps! Patsy was an angel and loved the jogging stroller run! I haven't really figured out the weather shield--it doesn't seem to fit the stroller very well. I might need some advice from a BOB expert. Haha. I did 3 miles that were progressively slower (oops) but that's alright. The jogging stroller is always a different animal and makes every run an adventure!

I'm looking forward to more runs with this great group in the months to come. Thanks for yet another great Thursday night run!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baby Wilson: Patsy's 7 Month Update

Patsy is currently: 7 months old. I really cannot believe how quickly time is going by!

Weight: the last time we went to the doctor in late March, she was 16lb, 3oz... For the 2nd month in a row, she gained 2 pounds in 1 month! Momma must be doing something right. Although I'm back at work full-time, it is so nice to see her thriving and doing so well!

Height: 26.5 inches

Clothing: She is pretty much out of all of her 3-6 month outfits by now and fits into 6-9 and 6-12 month clothes. Although, some of the pants are a bit tight with her chunky little thighs.

Nicknames: Her newest nickname is "Bratsy" when she is being a brat. Now she is getting to the point where she is testing the waters on manipulation. She frequently cries if she doesn't get her way. We joke around and call it her "I'm mildly inconvenienced" cry. Don't get me wrong, she is still a really good baby so I don't want to sound like I have it really rough.... But she's still a baby. :)

Health/Diet: She's still on momma's milk and we are introducing more and more new foods. I've been apprehensive about it and have been hesitant to give her certain things to try. She's getting to be a big girl and she needs to explore her options! We don't want to have a picky eater on our hands in a few years!

Sleep: She slept through the night for the first time the other day. I woke up and was absolutely floored. I think she nurses during the night more for comfort than for nourishment, especially with how much she weighs these days. We are going to start sleep training soon. I keep saying that, but it hasn't yet happened. I'm just looking forward to getting our bed back (yes she co-sleeps with us. Yes, it is something I said I would never ever do).

Milestones: She sits up by herself for long stretches of time. She has started to get more sturdy and doesn't fall over nearly as much. Although if you take your eyes off her for a minute, that happens to be when she falls over. Not speaking from experience or anything, ahem. She also LOVES standing! I think we might have an early walker on our hands! Whenever I try to sit her down, she stretches out her legs like she wants to stand. She also has started to extend out her arms when she wants to be picked up. She is learning to communicate! We plan on starting baby sign language soon--I just need to figure out what the signs are. Anyone have any good online resources for this, please pass along.

Likes: a fresh diaper, dogs, Sophie, her exersaucer, runs in the jogging stroller

Dislikes: carrots, avocado, when mommy comes home and doesn't hold her immediately

Monday, April 14, 2014

And The Spartan Contest Winner Is...

After looking through all of the entries, I've made a decision on the Spartan contest. And the winner is..........

Congratulations Meghan! I will email you back with information on how to register for the race. Thank you to all that entered. If you're still interested in running the Spartan, check out Amanda Too Tall Fritz's giveaway! Also, keep your eyes peeled a few other Chicago Running Bloggers will have free entries to give away as well.

I will be keeping the hashtag #spartanwithkelly active as we continue our training towards our end goal in September. Get ready folks. Things are about to get real, and scary, and fun... all at the same time. AROO!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Get Out of the Winter Workout Slump

I'm going to say it. I'm in a bit of a slump.

This past winter kicked my butt and left me unmotivated with lots of excuses not to work out. I have always enjoyed exercising, running, and racing so now that the snow has thawed and the temps are warming up, the excuses are getting less reasonable for skipping workouts. So, as a note to myself, I want to put together some tips on how to break out of the slump and get back to a healthy workout routine.

1) Make plans to workout with a friend. Accountability can be a fantastic motivator. Have a friend meet you at your house or a local trail. Set up the meeting at a time that works well for you (if the early morning running club meeting seem just too early).
Late night run with the FNRC

2) Sign up for a goal race to work towards. This is something I need to do. I have a lot on my plate in the fall but it would be fun to have something to work towards beforehand.
The Shamrock Shuffle got me to kickstart my motivation!

3) Purchase cute workout clothes. This might not be a huge motivator but it definitely makes me feel more confident in my workouts if I look the part. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have... Am I right?!
Post-workout selfie!

4) Find some outside motivation. I know many people are frequently re-posting quotes from various internet sites. That doesn't really do it for me though. I find motivation by watching my run heroes race on tv, by spectating a marathon, by watching clips from the most recent summer Olympics... Find out what motivates you! I'm getting ready to watch the Boston Marathon later on this month!
#fangirlfriday, Lauren Fleshman edition

5) Stop hating on your body, in whatever shape it is in. No one is perfect and I think more and more media outlets are pointing out the flawed way in which our society views beauty as a manufactured photoshopped image that is not attainable or even a reality. Our bodies are made to do so many things. Shaming ourselves is the wrong way to get out the door and is a much more temporary situation (versus a long term solution). Positive reinforcement is a much more powerful force of motivation! We are strong and we are amazing. We shouldn't let anyone else (including ourselves) tell us otherwise.
Being self-conscious about my post-baby body... I'm guilty of doing the very thing I'm lobbying against...

What do you to get out of a slump?

***Don't forget to enter my Spartan contest and let's get out of this slump together! I'm accepting entries until Monday, April 14***

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Latest TV Loves

As spring is just around the corner and we're coming out of our winter cocoon, I thought I might share with you some of the TV shows I fell in love with over my maternity leave and subsequent frigid cold winter. We signed up for Netflix while I was out and now we also have Apple TV. This has really helped fuel our addiction to certain shows. If you ever have a weekend to kill where you want to be parked in front of the TV, here are some great recommendations.
Watching TV with Mom...
Vintage Patsy photo
(She was about 3 months old in this photo)

Bob's Burgers -- I'm really over most of the animation on Fox but BB is different than the others and quite hilarious. The hubs and I really identify with Linda and Bob.

Brooklyn Nine Nine -- before they won an award, I was telling everyone how great the show is. Nice to see that others agree. I think Gina is my favorite character. And Terry too.

The Following -- I'm behind on the current season but I absolutely loved binge-watching season 1.

The Killing -- From the same guy that brought you True Detective, this show is another crime thriller. It was cancelled after it's first season but then brought back for 2 more. It was cancelled after season 3, but has been picked up by Netflix for a 4th season, simply to wrap things up. I can't wait!

Alias -- This Jennifer Gardner spy classic is still pretty awesome even with the outdated clothes and technology. I haven't finished watching the series yet because I don't want it to end!

Scandal -- I blew through season 1 very quickly and am now part way through season 2. I understand the hype--this show is amazing!

Orphan Black -- This sci-fi thriller really grew on me throughout the first season. It is done by BBC Canada and so the cheese factor is toned down quite a bit. I can't wait for season 2. That reminds me, I need to set my DVR to record it!

Happy Endings -- This show was amazing. It was cancelled after season 1, but then reinstated on a different network for 2 more seasons. After season 3, it was cancelled again and not picked up. It has a bit of a cult following and I really hope they make this show available on Netflix. Right now seasons 1 and 2 are available on DVD but season 3 is only available on Amazon on some sort of DVD-R or something? I don't really get it, but reruns are usually on VH1. 

Are there any shows that you really love that are on Netflix and worth binge-watching? Have you seen some of these shows? Do you agree with my thoughts?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shamrock Shuffle 8k Race Recap

This past weekend, I ran my 8th Shamrock Shuffle. Hard to believe I've had such a long history with this race. It really is one of the best races in Chicago. If you haven't run it before, I highly recommend you do so at least once!

The expo is always the Friday and Saturday before the race. This year I was asked to volunteer at the Zooma booth and I was able to coordinate with Amanda @ Get to Goal to volunteer with me.
Oh yeah, side note. Patsy joined us at the expo as well! She enticed some people to our booth and she was a very well behaved little girl the whole time. She made some new friends at the expo too!

We visited Maggie at the ACS booth and Patsy really wanted to be held by the leprechaun. He didn't mind at all which was pretty great.

Fellow Oiselle ambassador, Kim Pearlman, met up at the expo as well to exchange our team bibs. Patsy enjoyed hanging out with a fellow Wee Bird.

When it came time for the race morning, it was a little chilly to start but temps warmed up later on. In true new mom fashion, Patsy was a little under dressed for the temps. Thankfully, my SILs came downtown to watch Patsy while I ran and they improvised by bundling her up nicely.

I haven't been able to run as much as I would have liked in recent weeks/months, so I decided to just have fun with the race. My BRF Maggie was in a similar predicament and we decided to run together. Since Maggie is now a city dweller, we don't get to run together as often, but with how much fun we had at the shuffle, I'm hoping that changes in the future.
Photo in the starting corrals
We started in the back of B which was a great decision. It wasn't too crowded. People weren't speeding past us. The course changed slightly this year but it was still extremely smooth. This race is always so well executed. The water and gatorade stops were well marked and predictable. The volunteers were organized and had things ready to go.

But first.... Let me take a selfie

My biggest criticism with the race this year was that there was no music. There is usually boom boxes jamming Black Eyed Peas or a very trendy jam. They had 1 person yelling/talking over some beats at one of the water stops, but that was about it. Um, that isn't music. I know the Lululemon people are usually out there but I didn't even hear them... Maybe because we were in corral B, things were really pumped up later? Either way, it was kind of disappointing. Thankfully Maggie and I made the most of it. I just turned on my itunes music OUT LOUD and we danced our way along the course.

We finished the race in 47:10 (9:26 pace) which actually was a semi-progressive run. We started off slower and picked it up with each mile. I was kind of expecting a 50:00 (10:00 pace) so this was a welcome change. I didn't run with my Garmin so I wasn't too concerned about pace. Thanks for the fun run Maggie! Let's do it again soon!

After the race, I shuffled over to the Congress hotel to meet up with fellow Oiselle ambassadors that were also in town for the race. I always love meeting other ambassadors!
L to R: Kim, me, Kim, Hyedi, Kristine

Next up: BRUNCH. Obviously this was what I was looking forward to the most. :) I took my SILs out as a thank you for watching the baby while I raced. We ended up at 11 City Diner and the food was phenomenal. Also, the place was very family friendly so that was a definite plus. I highly recommend going there after a race sometime as it was walking distance from the finish line.

My smiling happy girl!

I completely forgot to get a picture of all me with my SILs during the day. I'll have to remember that for next time!

All in all, another fantastic Shamrock Shuffle race is in the books and I'm very excited for the upcoming year in racing!